Glass Embellishments-Part Two

In Part One, I discussed non-glass goodies you could add to your beads. In this part, I’ll address all the glass-based items you can add. These are items created from glass that add distinctive traits to your beads.


Murrini-colored patterns of images, which are laid on a bead. Italian term for patterns or images made in a glass cane (long rods of glass) that are revealed when cut or chopped in cross-sections

Small pieces of murrini






Millefiori- an Italian term, meaning “a thousand flowers.” It’s a style defined by internal patterns made by layering several colors and shaping each with an optic mold while molten. This style of murrine results in designs that are often flower-like, which is how the term came to be. Pieces of millefiori





Twisties-consist of two or more colors twisted around each other.

Glass Twistie






Latticino-a white glass used in threads to decorate clear glass. According to Wikipedia, “The form is characterized by a transparent glass base which is embedded with a network of crisscrossing threads of opaque glass, forming a lattice of diamond shaped pockets. Classically, white ‘latimo’ glass was used in a clear. The overall effect is suggestive of fine lace or of fishing net, both of which are strongly evocative in Venetian culture.”






Reticello- involves the merging of two cane bubbles (one inside the other) in which the straight canes were twisted in opposite directions. Once merged, the opposingly twisted canes cross each other creating a net like pattern. If done the traditional way, small air bubbles will be trapped in a grid pattern between the crossing canes.






Filigrana-is a glass rod where the core is a base color and it is encased with clear.







Frit-tiny pieces of glass. Frit comes in assorted sizes and types. Some of the types are below:

  • Plain-Plain frit consists of just one color. This can be any COE.
  • Reduction-produces a shiny, metallic look when introduced into a reducing flame. Generally, 90 or 96 COE.
  • Mixed-mixed colors of glass. Used to produce varying degrees of color. Any COE.






Shards-blown and thinned glass, which is then laid on a bead.

Bead with shard






Enamels-powdered glass. Because these are powdered, they can be caught in the air and inhaled. You must use a mask when working with enamels. There are several ways to get the enamel on your bead. Some artists simply put the enamel in a holder and roll the bead in it. Others sift the powder directly onto the bead where they want the powder to go. Another way is to use the Power Vibe System created by a friend of mine. The Vibe is like a pen and you press the side and it dispenses a small amount of enamel.

Orange glass enamel






Dichroic glass-is produced by stacking layers of transparent glass and metal oxides to create various colors.

Dichroic Glass






Tell me, what’s your favorite go-to glass embellishment?

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About LeahBeads 21 Articles
Leah has been working with all types of glass since 2000. She loves sharing her knowledge and helping people experience the thrill of glass beadmaking. She also runs and competes in triathlons when she's not at the torch.

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